February 15


Your Reputation: Asset or Liability?

By Sara Canaday

February 15, 2011

leadership, market value, perceptions, reputation, success

sara canaday reputation“Reputation” is not a line listing we can find on a corporate income statement. But honestly, it should be.  Instead it’s lurking in there, living pervasively below the surface of the carefully calculated revenues and expenses. And yet, the accountants can’t assign a specific number to it.  Think about that for a moment.  Companies can leverage the incalculable perceptions of a great reputation into bottom-line success and a very real corporate advantage.  Sadly, there’s also the flip side.  Companies can totally crash and burn because of negative reputations, despite solid product offerings.  Perceptions may be unquantifiable, but they are infinitely powerful.  One of my colleagues who buys and sells businesses recently reminded me of that statement’s universal truth.

The same principle applies to us as individuals. Once we understand the power of our personal reputations, we can begin to see how others’ perceptions of us can impact our ability to compete in the marketplace — for jobs, for raises, for promotions.  In the same way this concept works for the business world, we can accelerate our own journeys by evaluating our reputations and taking action to improve them.  The results eventually show up in our own version of the bottom line, whether that means higher salaries and bonuses or new leadership positions and career opportunities.

When I work with people who are trying to enhance their success in business we often discuss strategies to help them gain the type of insight that’s common among top achievers.  Inevitably, strong leaders tend to know their own reputations, their strengths and weaknesses. They have a clear understanding of how their words and actions are perceived by others.  They are simply more effective at relating to other people.  That’s a valuable lesson for all of us.  When we truly understand how we are perceived by others and can actively manage those perceptions, we have the power to boost our own personal market value.

Do you agree?  Let me know what you think!

Helping people to apply this concept is my passion.  It’s also the focus of my upcoming book, which is scheduled for release later this year.  I look forward to sharing more with you about this exciting project in the months ahead.

Sara Canaday

About the author

Sara began her journey working full-time while she earned an MBA. As she climbed the ladder of corporate America, she repeatedly observed a surprising phenomenon: the most successful people weren’t necessarily the ones with the highest IQ or best job skills. She recognized instead that career advancement was much more closely linked with how people applied their knowledge and talents — their capacity to collaborate, communicate, and influence others.

Today, Sara is happily fulfilling that commitment as a keynote speaker, author, and executive coach. These venues have given her the opportunity to mentor and support thousands of people in diverse situations, inspiring many of them to move from insight to action with dramatic career results.

  • Sara-
    I think you are right on with this article. People (and companies) do not spend nearly enough time thinking about how they are seen by others.
    We live in a time where first impressions are made so fast, and there is so much “noise” that people are not weighing all the information before they pass judgment.
    Your clients are smart to be working with you to manage this aspect. Too few do that!

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